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Reflections on the Liar$
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Bradley Armour-Garb

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199896042

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199896042.001.0001

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Thinking about the Liar, Fast and Slow

Thinking about the Liar, Fast and Slow

(p.39) 3 Thinking about the Liar, Fast and Slow
Reflections on the Liar

Robert Barnard

Joseph Ulatowski

Jonathan M. Weinberg

Bradley Armour-Garb

Oxford University Press

In the past, experimental philosophers have explored the psychological underpinning of a number of notions in philosophy, including free will, moral responsibility, and more. But prior to this chapter, although a number of philosophers have speculated on how ordinary folks might, or should, think about the liar paradox, no one had systematically explored the psychological underpinnings of the Liar itself. The authors take on this task. In particular, the chapter investigates the status of a liar sentence, L = ‘Sentence L is false’. The thesis, arrived at by interpreting the data the authors have accrued, is that reflective thinkers (some of whom possess a modicum of philosophical expertise) judge L to be neither true nor false (as opposed to false or true), and the authors see this as some evidence for the claim that L is neither true nor false.

Keywords:   liar paradox, experimental philosophy, truth value, semantic status, dual-process theory, Arne Næss, Wason’s selection task, Cognitive Reflection Test

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